“Jesus is coming soon!” the sign boldly proclaimed. That’s actually been the cry of Christians for over 2,000 years now. You really can’t blame folks for thinking sometimes that we Christians don’t really understand what the word “soon” actually means. Christians have always lived with a sense of Jesus immanent return. It’s like we were meant to. From the earliest days of the church (after Easter) the disciples wondered aloud, “Will you now restore the Kingdom?” Jesus’ answer then is the same as today, “It’s not for you to know the times or dates set by the Father … you just get on with being my witnesses” (Acts 1:6-8).
Christian scholars have historically made sense of this conundrum of the Kingdom using the lens, “already, but not yet”. It means that the Kingdom of heaven is indeed here on earth, and has been since the time of Jesus, but that it is not yet present in its fullness. Not all of the earth and creation has been restored to the Father yet. That work is on-going. The future fullness of the Kingdom looks forward to that day, when all things have been brought to the feet of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:24).
In this year’s theme, “Restore: On earth as in heaven”, we have been looking at the present reality of the kingdom by calling our attention to the things Jesus said about the kingdom here and now. In this final month of preaching on this series, we want to bring into focus the tension between the present state of the kingdom and that glorious future state which we are still waiting for. But our hope is that, when all is said and done, none of us will still be waiting for a kingdom to come as much as we are working on behalf of a kingdom that is already here.
Sunday, June 3rd What Time Is It Now? : Matthew 24:1-8 Kevin Armstrong
Sunday, June 10th What’s in Focus? : Matthew 24:14 Jim Chen
Sunday, June 17th The Parable of the Virgins: Matthew 25:1-13 Kevin Armstrong
Sunday, June 24th The Parable of the Talents : Matthew 25: 14-30 Jeff Knight